5 Spooky Stories To Read This October

I can’t believe Halloween is just a mere month away. It feels as though we’ve had enough fear and fright for a lifetime. The spooky season might look and feel a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge in a little bit of spooktacular fun. Scary books and stories are one of the most traditional and authentic rituals to immerse yourself in during the ghostly season. There’s nothing more teeth-chattering or spine-chilling than transporting your mind to a land where anything is possible, and everything is sinister.

Here are our top Halloween reading recommendations. We suggest, you grab a well-loved paperback, a spiced hot drink, and your cosiest blanket and get lost in a world of ghosts and ghouls whilst the real world whistles by outside your window.

Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Everyone loves Dracula, but not many know about his predecessor, Carmilla. Carmilla is the original vampire story. Written in 1872, Carmilla tells the story of a sinister and mysterious friendship that develops between two, seemingly, young girls. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu writes of a generous family of father and daughter who open their home and hearts to an abandoned young girl. As strange things start to happen in the night, and protagonist, Laura’s, wellbeing begins to deteriorate, it becomes clear Carmilla isn’t who she says she is, and her intentions are much more sinister.

Get a copy here

The Black Cat, Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe is known as the king of gothic literature. His stories are equally frightful and disturbing. “The Black Cat” is one of the author and poets short stories and chronicles the tale of a tumultuous relationship between a man and his once-beloved black cat. The tale that unfolds and the events that take place between the narrator and the animal is a tale of disturbing psychology, and the unprecedented powers guilt can hold over an individual. The narrative is both gory and gruesome, and psychologically impactful.

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American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis

**Trigger warning: This novel discusses topics relating to rape, necrophilia, mutilation, torture, and extreme violence.

American Psycho has become a cultural icon. The book and movie adaptation delves into how the unknowingness of the physical world is actually the most frightful thing we face. The story of a New York investment banker turned serial killer plays on the deep-rooted anxieties we have of never truly knowing anyone or anything in the modern world. The novel is profoundly disturbing through the abhorrent criminality’s committed, and the increasingly sadistic and emotionless narration from the perpetrator of these actions.

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The Turning of the Screw/ The Haunting of Bly Manor, Henry James

Soon to be released as a Netflix adaptation, us bookworms are keen to get the novella under our belts before the television adaptation airs. Henry James’ 1898 novel, The Turning of the Screw, tells the story of a young governess caring for two children inside a haunted country estate. James’ use of mysterious buildings and abandoned desolate land abide by the tropes of traditional gothic fiction, but the meaning behind the mystery is still highly debated. Why not give it a read and decide for yourself what James’ potentially haunted house and tortured governess alludes to?

Get a copy here

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is the original horror story. Conceived by a young Mary Shelley as her and other Romantic figures sat around a fire late one night telling scary stories to each other. The infamous narrative about one man’s ability to take on the role of God and create life through scientific means has haunted our culture for centuries. Of course, the original book is by far the best, and should be at the top of your Halloween reading list if it isn’t already!

Get a copy here

Make sure you take time for yourself this season. There’s nothing scarier than a self-inflicted burn out. Ensure you carve out time for mindful and relaxing activities like reading, and you’ll find the only anxieties you’re experiencing are related to ghosts and ghouls, not the grind of every day life.

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